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  1. #1

    • Minion
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    Disney's Animation Cash Crop: Direct-to-Video Sequels

    Animation World Magazine posted an article that outlines Disney's recent approach to traditional Animation. It says that while most people believe that Disney no longer produces 2D animated pictures, the company is actually making more than ever thanks to the DTV format.

    DisneyToons is the division that creates the DTV sequels and that studio is overseen by Sharon Morrill. She is on a mission to dispel the belief that the DTV movies are sub-par with animation and production values of a saturday morning cartoon. She used the Lion King sequels as examples for how the company is trying to match the look and feel of the original theatrical releases.

    However, since there are no new 2D Theatrical movies to be released anytime soon, DisneyToons has decided to make sequels and in-between-quels to popular Disney Films of Walt's Generation. DTV movies include Bambi and the Great Prince of the Forest, Cinderella III, Tarzan II, Stitch Has A Glitch, Kronk's New Groove, Dumbo II, and a Tinkerbell film. The studio always plans on releasing a few original animated movies as well as a CGI cartoon starring Mickey that frees him from his corporate icon status with an "edgy" but still Mickey attitude.

    The article is very interesting and sheds new light on how the "cheapquels" may not be so cheap anymore, after all look at the Lion King series! It may be a new era for Disney's Animation Studios, but it's better than the old Aladdin style sequel approach or nothing at all! What do you think? Here's a link to the article:

    Animation World Magazine

  2. #2

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    Ugh- I hate the DTD format- I think it cheapens 2d animation and the originals themselves. But whatever keeps animators employed, I guess.
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  3. #3

    • Reaver of Souls
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    Stitch has a Glitch + different voice actors = Fodder
    Honor those who fall under the sword.
    But pity the warrior who has slain all his enemies.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by dramaqueen
    Ugh- I hate the DTD format- I think it cheapens 2d animation and the originals themselves. But whatever keeps animators employed, I guess.
    I tend to agree with dramaqueen. Just 10 years ago top animators' salaries were skyrocketing and hundreds of artists were climbing on board by enrolling in art school courses. It's a very specialized field which calls for a multitude of talents to make it work well. Exceptional drawing ability along with a strong knowledge of anatomy, human and animal behavior are just some of the things required.

    I met Frank Thomas at a party about 10 years ago and got a chance to talk with him a bit about his career. I can still see the animation in his face and twinkle in the eye when he told me about the visions he had for the mice in Cinderella before even putting a pencil to paper.

    It's sad that the "glory days" appear to be over. I don't believe there will ever be the time or budget to produce a hand drawn animated film again. The audiences don't seem to care any longer about the talent, time and difficulty of producing a feature film so why bother.

    As an artist and as much as I hate to admit it, I think Disney probably made a wise decision in dismantling its 2D animation division and going with DTV. Home Video/Entertainment appears to be the wave of the future. Sure I hate the cheapness and lack of rich detail the DTV productions have. I'm just happy we now have the ability to preserve all the wonderful efforts that were produced before.

  5. #5

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    amen dd- I am spending my money on the new ultimate and platinum editions. These classic dvd's are an investment I am making in my future children. I will never subject them to such cheap pandering as you are most likely find in a DTV- they deserve to enjoy the classics.

    I think the hand drawn film can make a comeback. When Roy took over the division in the 80's, people were saying the same thing and WDS hadn't had a good animated film since the 60's. With The Little Mermaid came a renaissance for Disney Animators and I think part of it was because there hadn't been any films made by that division in 20 years. I think the animation department would benefit from a break! If we don't see another hand drawn film for another 20 years, that's ok by me. Let them rest, build up great ideas again. I just can't believe that this is the end......
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  6. #6

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    While I will always be a traditional animation fan, I do think that the quality of the DTV's are getting better. They richness of the colors, detail of the backgrounds, and character voices are getting better with each production. The new Bambi movie looks great. The only problem I have is that obviously the voices don't match when making a sequel to a movie that came out decades ago.

    If the quality continues to rise then I'm all for it, but no more of those tacky saturday morning type animations. Those are just disgraceful!

  7. #7

    • Reaver of Souls
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soulquarian
    While I will always be a traditional animation fan, I do think that the quality of the DTV's are getting better. They richness of the colors, detail of the backgrounds, and character voices are getting better with each production. The new Bambi movie looks great. The only problem I have is that obviously the voices don't match when making a sequel to a movie that came out decades ago.

    If the quality continues to rise then I'm all for it, but no more of those tacky saturday morning type animations. Those are just disgraceful!
    You see, this is exactly the problem I have with these movies. They have gotten us so used to the Scooby-Doo quality crap they've been putting out, that when they increase the quality a bit, while still being far under par, people accept it. Much like the gas prices. It's at $1.75 a gallon, and we want it at $1.90 a gallon? No problem! We'll crank it up slowly to $2.50, and when we drop it back to $1.90, everyone will be happy!

    I for one am not ready to accept sub-standard work, just because it's better than it was...
    Honor those who fall under the sword.
    But pity the warrior who has slain all his enemies.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reaver
    You see, this is exactly the problem I have with these movies. They have gotten us so used to the Scooby-Doo quality crap they've been putting out, that when they increase the quality a bit, while still being far under par, people accept it. Much like the gas prices. It's at $1.75 a gallon, and we want it at $1.90 a gallon? No problem! We'll crank it up slowly to $2.50, and when we drop it back to $1.90, everyone will be happy!

    I for one am not ready to accept sub-standard work, just because it's better than it was...
    I am old enough to have seen the cutbacks in Disney Animation at various times and the rise of mediocrity which TV produced over the decades. As an artistic child, I was quick recognize crap when I saw it.

    I am close friends with the family of Bill Hanna for years. Several of them were inkers and painters on the early Disney classics, worked for "Uncle Bill" or produced their own animated films. Although I think Hanna-Barberra was good in its own way I still think it was pretty awful. After his early days at MGM with Tom & Jerry, Bill joined forces with Barberra and they built their empire with cheapness and sold it to TV...much like Disney has chosen to do with the step-child of TV...Home Video.

    The nostalgia for H/B just stupefies me. As a child it annoyed me that you had the same background scrolling behind the character running, or the same limited movement repeated over and over. Only Rocky & His Friends and The Simpsons have delighted me over the years because their low budget and minimal animation were actually part of their charm. Consistently strong scripts, humor and voice talent are in the forefront with those productions.

    Disney once had the capability and talent to do it all. It's the lack of sophistication and the public's satisfaction with mediocrity that is at the root of the situation.

    We used to dine on dried figs and champagne...now it's just raisins and soda.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by dramaqueen
    amen dd- I am spending my money on the new ultimate and platinum editions. These classic dvd's are an investment I am making in my future children. I will never subject them to such cheap pandering as you are most likely find in a DTV- they deserve to enjoy the classics.
    I couldn't agree with you more! It's depressing what they're doing to my favorite classics! Cinderella III? Tinkerbell movie? Dumbo II? I just finished watching Cinderella II with my 4 year old cousin and it might have been the most pointless movie I've ever seen...I mean come on, how much more plot could you get after "and they lived happily ever after"? And I don't even want to pick up Dumbo II because Dumbo has been one of my all time favorite classics. The only Disney sequel I give props to is Toy Story 2 and that's because Pixar can just about anything amazing! But really, they need to stop sequelizing classics because it gives Disney a bad rep for puting $$ before quality and besides....they're just plain poppycock!
    "Just remember the month of May followed by a nerd."

  10. #10

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    Lifeless, soulless crap.

    Ugh.....
    "The old man's gonna knock on the sky. Listen to the sound."

    AP'er since 2004. Yup.....I'm one of THEM.

  11. #11

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    The only thing that keeps them going is that 75% or more of the General Video Buying public are stupid clods who see the Disney name plastered on something and think "It's Disney so it must be good", then buy it for the three and four year olds too watch and they don't care about quality animation, they don't know from classics. All they see is bright colors, drawings that move and funny slapstick visual humor to laugh at.

    It's so disgusting. I am from the "Old School" of Frank and Ollie being old enough to have seen most of the true "Disney Classics" from Pinnochio on in the big old Theaters in Downtoan Los Angeles when they where first run shows. Now that's animation. Today, Disney only cares about making money hand over fist from the mindless hords that purchase this crap.
    Peter Pan Forever!!! I Will Never Grow Up.

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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reaver
    You see, this is exactly the problem I have with these movies. They have gotten us so used to the Scooby-Doo quality crap they've been putting out, that when they increase the quality a bit, while still being far under par, people accept it. Much like the gas prices. It's at $1.75 a gallon, and we want it at $1.90 a gallon? No problem! We'll crank it up slowly to $2.50, and when we drop it back to $1.90, everyone will be happy!

    I for one am not ready to accept sub-standard work, just because it's better than it was...
    This is an excellent point, people have been force-fed crap for so long that they've forgotten what a *real* animation looks like. And I don't think they should be making sequels no matter how good they look. Even if they looked better than the originals, which is highly doubtful but for argument's sake, they shouldn't make sequels. Pixar is the perfect example of how you don't need to rehash material to be successful. Toy Story 2 was commissioned by Disney, it wasn't Pixar's idea. They haven't tried to "reinvent" themselves and when they finish something so unbelievably well-done like Finding Nemo, they don't try to top it, they merely try something else like the more serious (but still funny) Incredibles.

    And like Brad Bird said on the Incredibles DVD, animation is NOT a genre. You don't have to make a silly kid's movie if you use animation. This whole deal about animation having to be FUNNY at all times has really destroyed the artistic merit of animation. Animation can be a powerful form of art without the cheesy humor as we have seen with Don Bluth's films like Secret of NIMH and American Tail...I seriously didn't intend that pun by the way. Those films are 20 years old, yet they still look fantastic.

    I don't think traditional animation is going away no matter how many people think it's dead. In fact, I think in 10-20 years when CG animation has worn off its novelty, I think it will be *CG* animation that is in danger of dying off. Remember, we've had CG for less than 10 years whereas handdrawn has been around since the 1920's! It helps to keep it in perspective when fearing animation is dead.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Athlonacon
    Pixar is the perfect example of how you don't need to rehash material to be successful. Toy Story 2 was commissioned by Disney, it wasn't Pixar's idea.
    Although I do not know the story behind Toy Story 2, I know that Pixar actually wanted to follow up with a Toy Story 3, but it never happened because Eisner still wanted Cars, and the folks at Pixar wanted to count TS3, which would have made The Incredibles the last Disney/Pixar movie under that 7 movie deal.

  14. #14

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    Cinderella III is when the step-mother gets some time thing and Cinderella follows her toi different time periods.
    Bambi II is when the Great Prince trains Bambi. This is set when the Great Prince takes Bambi and before Bambi remeets with his friends

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